Probe Pushed for TV Reporter's Death

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The Committee to Protect Journalists has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking for a probe into the Sept. 12 U.S. airstrikes that killed 13 civilians, including a TV reporter for Dubai's Al-Arabiya, and injured two cameraman, one a free-lancer and the other working for Reuters.

Committee Executive Director Ann Cooper called for a public and "transparent investigation...including an examination of whether this attack may have violated the principles of international law that prohibit the use of indiscriminate fire."

Al-Arabiya reporter Mazen Al-Tumeizi was taping a story near a disabled Bradley armored vehicle when it was hit by a U.S. missile, killing him and a dozen others. The U.S. military has provided differing stories, points out Cooper, with one officer saying the missile was fired to prevent looting of equipment, then another saying it was to return insurgent fire.

The accounts of some eyewitnesses are at odds with those versions, she says, "[raising] serious questions about whether the use of fire by U.S. forces was indiscriminate or disproportionate to any military advantage."

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